On June 25, 1992, The Baltimore Sun published its first letter to the editor from Patrick R. Lynch, who bemoaned the theft of his father's car from a Baltimore County park-and-ride lot. He called the incident "park and heist."
Since then, the Nottingham resident's letters and comments have appeared in The Sun more than 100 times.
"Although I never pursued a career in the print media, I have always found writing to be an excellent release," says Lynch, The Sun's most prolific letter writer of the past year. Letters to the editor are a "platform in which to exercise my First Amendment rights."
In an age when online commenters can lob verbal grenades while hiding behind a shield of anonymity, Lynch, 57, stands — publicly and mostly respectfully — behind his statements.
"Sir, no one in this great city will deny that you are an astute businessman, but the truth is, you possess little or no baseball acumen. Ease our pain. Sell the team," he wrote in an open letter to Orioles ownerPeter G. Angelosin 2006.
The Orioles — and, specifically, Angelos — are the No. 1 topic the devoted Baltimore sports fan, who burst into tears at the last game at Memorial Stadium whenBrooks Robinson made an appearance.
"I am glad I had my sunglasses on," said Lynch, whose son is named for the Hall of Fame third baseman.
Lynch frequently addresses civic issues as well, such as the Baltimore Grand Prix and dirty cops. Recounting a series of Baltimore police scandals, he wrote last fall, "The fissures in the proverbial dam of our supposed civil society are more evident than they ever have been before."
Still, he says evenhandedly in an interview, "I feel empathy for the police officers who have to do their job under trying conditions."
Lynch earned a degree in mass communications from Towson University and "had aspirations to be a newspaper writer" but developed a sales career. He is unemployed but looking for a job in sales.
Lynch says he has no agenda but usually writes in response to articles on local people or events.
"I do not consider myself to be a political person," he said.